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safeguarding standards and improving the quality of UK higher education

Employer engagement at QAA

​What does employer engagement mean for QAA?​​

QAA works to involve and empower employers, higher education students and graduates in the process of shaping the national employability agenda in higher education. We want to build understanding and collaboration between the higher education and business sectors.

QAA is committed to working with employers and their representative groups, universities and colleges, and students' unions to develop the intelligence, insights and dialogue necessary to ensure that qualifications meet both academic needs and the practical needs of business and industry.

How does employer engagement fit with QAA's work?

QAA has developed four aims for employer engagement for 2014-16:​
  • Aim 1: Help develop and strengthen the contribution of employers to the academic quality and standards of UK higher education.
  • Aim 2: Communicate effectively with employers so that they recognise and value the role of the QAA.
  • Aim 3: Ensure that employer needs are actively considered in the development of relevant QAA processes.
  • ​Aim 4: Ensure that QAA is seen as an organisation that is visibly engaged with employers.

QAA's work with and for employers

We involve employers in many aspects of our work:
  • ​we consulted with employers and their interest groups in the development of the Quality Code​, which sets out the Expectations for academic standards and quality that all providers of UK higher education are expected to meet
  • ​we conducted Foundation Degree review in Wales, where employers acted as reviewer
  • our Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies (PSRB) forum brings professionals together regularly to discuss developments at the interface of higher education and graduate professional careers
  • our Access to Higher Education (opens in new window)​ programme works with employers and employees alike to support individuals' ambition to take up higher education
  • we have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Centr​e for Universities and Business (opens in new window)​ to support more effective collaboration between businesses and higher education.​

Upcoming projects

We will be running a number of employer engagement projects in the coming year including:
  • ​commissioning new research to assess the impact of employability initiatives and practices
  • commissioning guidance for employers, higher education providers and students
  • involving employers in the review of subject benchmark statements
  • enhancing employer engagement in QAA review processes
  • ​running a forum for employers to find out how they can get involved ​in higher education.​

​Why should employers engage with QAA?

By engaging with QAA, employers have the chance to have input into the provision and development of higher education. In turn, this will influence and shape future graduates and ensure that students develop the relevant skills and attributes that are appropriate in the workplace.